It’s been seven months since I’ve begun limiting my gluten intake and about nine months since my gut healing efforts through restricted diet have begun. Gluten intake has been on the mind much since it appears Adalyn’s severe symptoms (both behaviorally and physically) and my own symptoms improve when gluten intake is limited & reduced as much a possible. I say “as much as possible” because I know the hidden gluten (lurking in cross contamination, packaged foods and such) is still finding a way in every so often.
We just got back from a free Celiac blood screening courtesy of The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, I should have my test results back in a few months. I choose to be screened since I’ve recently discovered some buried family medical history that indicates many of us (so far 5 of us across 3 generations) seem to be suffering from what could have been an undiagnosed gluten allergy.
Celiac Disease is traced up through the genes of families and is often overlooked entirely but is said to be linked other conditions that do eventually get diagnosed, like ADD/ ADHD, Autism, Fibromyalgia, Lupis and Myositis to name a few.
People with celiac disease carry genes that make them predisposed to the disorder once they are exposed to gluten. A patient with genetic predisposition to celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease, needs some triggering factors for the signs and symptoms to manifest. There are already scientific evidences that show it can be activated by other factors including another autoimmune disease.
This shows that celiac disease is linked to other autoimmune disorders or more appropriately, certain autoimmune disorders are genetically linked. This means that a person with the genetic predisposition for any autoimmune disorder may also have genetic predisposition for other autoimmune diseases. The triggering of one can lead to a cascade of signs and symptoms that may include the manifestations for celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
An autoimmune disorder puts the immune system into hyperactive mode attacking (instead of protecting) its own body cells and tissues. There are over 80 kinds of known autoimmune disorders that can cause immune system attack. Some of these are thyroid disease (Graves’ and Hashimoto’s diseases), autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, Crohn’s disease, Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism), multiple sclerosis, and Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Other possible diseases that may require a gluten free-diet are Sjögren’s syndrome, myesthenia gravis, ulcerative colitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon, systemic lupus erythematosus, and scleroderma. (Source: http://www.theintentionallifestyle.com/living-gluten-free-lifestyle-without-celiac)
Since my gut healing efforts and my reduction of gluten began I’ve been on a roller-coaster ride. While on gluten I was a mess, often hopeless, overly dramatic, explosive or emotional and paring that with a newborn baby was tough. Once I began eliminating bad foods and reducing my gluten intake the detoxing began and it was a long detox complete with physical and emotional symptoms.
After detoxing I felt much more even-keeled, my sugar cravings were less, my stress eating (and stress levels) declined so much and my patience returned. Being in the throes of another detoxing (since I had to eat lots of gluten before the blood screen) is making the improvements I obtained much more clear.
Right now I am having major emotional symptoms again, my already short fuse is waaay shorter, I have no inner calmness or feelings of relaxation. Stress & anger are the norm for me right now. Plus, my fingers are doing the crack, burn & peel thing again… and my skin is breaking out bad.
I bit the bullet and ordered some Bach flower remedies this week to aid in my emotional symptoms while I detox. I wish I could hardcore detox and get this done faster but for the sake of breastfeeding and Adalyn’s well-being I must continue to go slow and steady.
Hopefully in writing all these terrible symptoms, I’ll be able to go back and see just how crappy the gluten and sugar made me feel. Maybe I’ll think twice about reintroducing the junk again if it ever crosses my mind in the future.
I can’t wait to get back to where I was before the gluten was reintroduced! What is your relationship with gluten like?